After a solid point on the road in their opening Championship fixture of the season against Luton, Birmingham City will look to bag their first win of the campaign when they take on Huddersfield Town at St. Andrew’s on Friday night.
There is a cloud of uncertainty though surrounding the Blues, and it involves the takeover from Paul Richardson and Maxi Lopez, with claims that they now do not have the funding to complete their deal.
John Eustace will have to keep his players focused on the pitch from the distractions away from it in order to get a result against the Terriers, whose new era under Danny Schofield got off to the worst possible start at home against Burnley last Friday.
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A trip to the Midlands is perhaps easier on paper for Huddersfield, who are still coming to terms with losing two of their key players in Lewis O’Brien and Harry Toffolo, but EFL pundit David Prutton does not believe that they’ll head back to West Yorkshire with all three points – instead believing that it will be a 1-1 draw.
“Birmingham had a solid start under John Eustace last weekend and kept a clean sheet against Luton – one of last season’s play-off semi-finalists – which is no mean feat,” Prutton said on his Sky Sports predictions podcast.
“Strikers Troy Deeney and Scott Hogan did not register a single shot between them, but that is perhaps indicative of Luton’s defensive strength rather than anything else at this point.
“For Huddersfield, it was a tough return to action.
“They faced a new-look Burnley side determined to pass their opponents off the park and struggled to muster any real chances of note.
“They are still in transition after Carlos Corberan’s surprise departure, but won’t be able to use that as a mitigating factor for too long, you’d imagine.
“I’m going for a draw to start the weekend.”
Birmingham and Huddersfield are two teams who are probably still trying to work out their identities under new head coaches.
The Blues are playing a similar system under John Eustace as what Lee Bowyer did, but for the Terriers, Danny Schofield is utilising a different formation to Carlos Corberan’s successful methods.
It will probably take both sides a few more weeks to get really acclimatised to the new season, but at the same time they are perhaps relishing this particular fixture as a chance to get off the mark.
I can see Birmingham sneaking a narrow victory though, perhaps a 1-0.